If you saw footage this morning from occupied Palestine of resistance fighters storming Israeli settlements built on indigenous Palestinian lands and taking Israelis hostage, then you prayed for God to save the people of Gaza from Israel’s brutal retaliation, then you are not alone.
If you went on social media to post lengthy explanations to your Western friends to make them understand what led to Saturday’s events, sharing numerous posts about Israel’s decades-long colonialism and oppression of the Palestinian people, then you are also not alone.
Both responses are symptomatic of Palestinians and their allies. Whenever something happens in Gaza, where people live in the largest open air prison, we immediately fear for the lives of the people there who pay the price every time they raise their heads to defy the occupation. We also feel we’re constantly on the spot, having to justify and explain our right to fight for dignity and write our own history through resistance.
As feminists and activists for justice in Palestine and everywhere, we urge ourselves, and you as well, to overcome this mode of thinking, imposed on us by the colonial structures we are living in. If we do not fight, then neither our words, nor the truth of our narratives, will lead to any change in our condition. According to International Humanitarian Law, every people under military occupation or siege has the right to resist their occupiers. The latest Palestinian resistance has to be seen in this light. Our struggle for freedom, justice and liberation will be exemplary to other oppressed indigenous people around the world. Today, we unequivocally insist that we do not have to explain or justify the unprecedented – and as of yet, unpredictable – developments in Gaza to those who do not understand the current power dynamics in Palestine. We will not be dragged into a pointless analysis or illustration of the military gains or capabilities of the occupiers. We choose to uphold our people’s right to fight for their dignity and life in freedom.
We stand today in awe of all Palestinians who resist. We stand today in awe of all Palestinians who as colonized people rewrite their own history. We stand today in solidarity with every Palestinian who decides to overcome settler colonialism, military occupation and oppression. We condemn international powers who are not acknowledging the right to resist for Palestinians living under occupation and siege for decades.
This statement was issued by the following organisations:
- Feminist Bloc | Palestine Speaks
- Alliance of International Feminists
- International women* space
- India Justice Project
- Palestine Speaks
- Jewish Bund
It was first published on the Palestine Speaks Instagram page. Reproduced with permission.